Case Snapshot
Case ID: 12817
Classification: Stabbing
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
More cases in Laramie County, WY
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Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
Drugs or alcohol involved
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Monday, Nov 19, 2007

County: Laramie

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Thomas Shockley

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A local man who stabbed a dog to death in November has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.

Thomas Shockley, 22, accepted a plea agreement Monday for a recommended sentence of no less than 12 months and no more than 18 months in prison. That would be suspended for 12 months of supervised probation.

The plea came during an arraignment before Laramie County District Judge Peter Arnold.

The judge will decide whether to accept this agreement after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation, which could take two to four months.

Arnold said in court that if he does not accept the agreement, Shockley cannot withdraw his guilty plea.

Arnold also said that if he rejects the terms of the agreement, he can sentence Shockley with up to two years imprisonment, a $5,000 fine or both.

Shockley was originally charged with one felony count of animal cruelty.

"Do you agree to those terms?" Arnold asked Shockley.

"Yes, your honor," Shockley responded.

He explained that on the night of Nov. 19, he and his friend, Sean Hay, were drinking heavily.

The pair returned to Hay's home when Hay began to complain about his 6-month-old German shepherd/pit bull mix, Athena.

Shockley said Hay told him the dog had bitten his children.

"I grabbed a knife off of the counter, went outside and killed the dog," he said.

He slit the animal's throat, but when the dog began to run around the yard, he began to worry. Shockley said he kept stabbing the dog until a final wound through Athena's skull killed her.

Laramie County assistant district attorney Craig Jones said the first wound was fatal but did not kill the dog instantly.

He added that while he considered Shockley's age and lack of significant criminal history, he felt that a felony conviction was appropriate.

Police officers visited Hay's home at 5306 Imperial Court after collecting a report of animal cruelty on Nov. 20. Earlier in the day, a neighbor walking her own dog noticed Athena's body in a field near Hay's home.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed in circuit court, the dog's throat had been completely cut. In addition, there were puncture wounds on the animal's skull and rib cage.

When officers confronted Hay, he admitted that Shockley was at his home the night of Nov. 19 and that Shockley had killed Athena.

Case Updates

A district judge has sentenced a man to serve two years probation and perform 200 hours of community service at a local animal shelter for stabbing a dog to death last year.

District Court Judge Peter Arnold on Monday told 23-year-old Thomas R. Shockley that it wasn't worth the $50,000 a year it would cost to send him to prison. Shockley had faced up to two years in prison on a charge of felony animal cruelty. He was charged with killing a six-month-old German shepherd-pit bull mix in Cheyenne last November.

Shockley's lawyer Bob Rose told the judge that probation was the right penalty for his client. The lawyer says Shockley was intoxicated at the time. He says Shockley killed the dog because he thought it was a threat to a friend's children.
Source: KULR - March 18, 2008
Update posted on Mar 18, 2008 - 5:36PM 


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